Monday, October 5, 2009

Will Twitter gain more exposure?

Twitter is a free social networking and micro-blogging service that enables users to send short messages of no more than 140 characters via the Twitter website, short message service (SMS) or by the use of an external application. These short messages are called “tweets.” I just joined Twitter to find out what all the hype is and I found that it was pretty easy to start tweeting. The ease of sending and receiving these messages is because users can send and receive messages without sitting at a computer. In fact, all you need is a mobile telephone that has an internet connection. I was wondering why this fairly new social network site has taken off so quickly and I did some research on the numbers of people who use it.

According to Adam Astrow’s post on Mashable, the social media guide, a lot more people have started to use Twitter. eMarketer’s defines a “users” as people who access Twitter by any platform at least once a month and this is what will have to be tracked to determine an increase in the user rate. eMarketer said that in 2008 the Twitter user rate was 6 million, and by the end of 2009 it will increase to 18 million, and possibly grow to 26 million in 2010. In comparison, Facebook is estimated as having 250 million active users and about half of the Facebook users login at least every day. These statistics indicate that Twitter has a long way to go to get close to where Facebook is.

Furthermore, Peter Cashmore posted on Mashable that Neilsen Reports statistics showed that about 60% of first time Twitters lose interest and do not return to the site after about a month. Therefore, the retention rates will have to be monitored to see if more people drop off.
Nielsen Reported that “Compare it to the two heavily-touted behemoths of social networking when they were just starting out…we found that even when Facebook and MySpace were emerging networks like Twitter is now, their retention rates were twice as high. When they went through their explosive growth phases, that retention only went up, and both sit at nearly 70 percent today.”

So how can Twitter’s management promote consumer expansion? For starters, Twitter needs to focus more on marketing their services to more people world wide. One good example of this venture was being mentioned in The Verizon Commercial, which helped them connect to their consumers. This ad had a smooth transition that showed how Verizon products could enable users to access Twitter and stay connected to family and friends. It also showed how more adults were using this type of media.

The fact the Facebook and Twitter was mentioned in the same ad, was a great marketing strategy for Verizon because it linked two of the most used social network applications to show that more people will be able to access these applications when they buy a Verizon mobile phone product.

As with any new technology, there is always a risk of losing clients and Twitter will have to continue to look for ways to retain their current users and invent more ways to obtain more users through advertising or other forms of media exposure.

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